Built in Australia by the Government Aircraft Factories, at Fisherman’s Bend, Port Melbourne, there is currently no complete example of a Lincoln on display anywhere in Australia.
In 1943 with the successful local production of Wirraway, Wackett and Tigermoth Trainers, as well as Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito manufacturing well underway, the Australian Government sent a overseas mission to explore further types for local manufacture. That mission, with significant involvement by Sir Laurence Wackett, selected the Mustang as the next locally manufactured fighter and recommended the Lancaster for local manufacture if a heavy bomber was required. In May 1943 Lancaster III ED930 was sent out to Australia to act as a pattern aircraft, and in November 1943 the War Cabinet approved the manufacture of 50 Lancasters by the Beaufort Division of the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP).
At the same time development of the Lancaster design by Avro had lead to an intended and much improved mark IV being developed, incorporating a new wing of greater span, a lengthened fuselage, greater fuel capacity and larger, more powerful Merlin engines with four bladed propellers. These changes along with the installation of a remote nose turret, angular bomb aimers panel transformed the design sufficiently from the Lancaster to result in a new name and the Avro type 694 Lincoln was created.
With the war turning in the allies favour in Europe, the RAF turned its attention to entering the Pacific War and intended to create a dedicated "Tiger Force" consisting of the new Avro Lincoln Bomber, with its improved range and performance allowing the RAF to match the USAF's deployment of their new B-29 Bomber.
With this in mind Australia shifted its production focus to the new Avro design in February 1944 with the Department of Aircraft Production intending to produce its Lincolns as Mark XXX, later becoming Mark 30 when Arabic replaced Roman numerals in British and Australian designations. The Mark 30 Lincoln was based on the Avro B2 Lincoln but with differing Merlin engines.
In July 1945 the Lincoln programme was amended to include 61 Lincoln Bombers and 12 Avro Tudor airliners, (a pressurised airliner which shared the wing and engine design of the Lincoln) however despite creating a wooden mockup of the Tudor in 1948 the Tudor was dropped from Australian production plans and the order amended to 73 Lincoln Bombers.
The first five aircraft were assembled from imported Avro built B2 parts. The remainder were assembled from parts locally constructed at the DAP, now named Government Aircraft Factory (GAF) plant at Fishermens Bend, Melbourne and from extensive sub-contracting as had been the case for the DAP Beaufort and Beaufighters.
The first Australian built GAF Mark 30 Lincoln flew on 12 March 1946 and the remainder were delivered between January 1947 and September 1953, with the last 12 aircraft being delivered as Mark 31 Lincolns modified to perform maritime reconnaissance by fitting a 6 &1/2 foot extension to the nose to accomodate a tactical navigator and three sonobuoy operators, and a further seven existing mark 30 Lincolns were returned to the factory for similar modifications.
The Mark 30 Lincoln served as the RAAF's primary bomber with 1, 2 and 6 Squadrons forming 82 Wing in February 1948 equipped with Lincolns, replacing the wartime 4 engined Heavy Bomber, the Liberator.
Number 1 Squadron was deployed to Singapore with RAF Lincolns in the Malayan Emergency and spent eight years undertaking nearly 4000 sorties against communist terrorists.
Number 2 and 6 Squadrons deployed their Lincolns in various duties including "Cloud Chasing" and testing support of the Maralinga Atom Bomb tests, before relinquishing their aircraft for Australian made GAF Canberra jet bombers in December 1953, while 1 Squadron did not return to Australia and transfer their aircraft until July 1958
The Mark 31 "Long Nose" Lincoln came into service in March 1955 with 10 and 11 Squadrons being equipped, however these aircraft were disposed of in 1961/1962 with the introduction of the Lockheed Neptune.
Unfortunately no example of the RAAF's last four-engined heavy bomber, the largest aircraft ever manufactured in Australia, was retained for preservation or future display.
The Museum has been offered donation of the dis-assembled remains of a former British built Avro B2 Lincoln former RAF RF342 to be used as the basis of restoration and display as an RAAF GAF Lincoln Bomber and is seeking cash donations or parts to assist in the eventual restoration and display of the aircraft, to become one of four remaining world wide, and the only one in Australia, along side the other rare and restored Australian Made aircraft already in the museum’s collection.